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Jo-Anne M. Rizzotto, M.Ed, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E.

Jo-Anne Rizzotto, MEd, RDN, LDN, CDCES, is Director of Educational Services at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. She is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator with over 25 years of clinical, research, management and industry experience and is a key member of the clinic leadership team. Jo-Anne is co-chair and an active member of the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators Exam Board. Jo-Anne has a proven track record of managing many facets of quality assurance and improvement with documented outcomes including advancing the use of technologies in the clinic for the management of diabetes. Jo-Anne establishes, directs and manages all aspects of diabetes education programs including overall direction, content, design, delivery, budgeting and staff management. She ensures all programs and staff delivering education meet the highest quality standards and do so with the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness. Jo-Anne participates in and has been the co-principle investigator in numerous clinical research studies. Jo-Anne chairs and participates in a variety of high level selection committees, clinical guideline committees, publication review committees and academic promotion committees. She also chairs the quality committee with the General Counsel at the Joslin in addition to the Clinic policy and procedure committee.

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Healthy Eating for Night Shifts

Ask the Expert


I am a registered nurse, and I am having difficulty adjusting my diet from days to nights. What should I be eating to stay healthy when working the night shift?


Working a night shift doesn't always allow for the traditional "3 meals a day," so a little creativity with preplanning and timing of meals and snacks can help a great deal. A good idea is to try and eat two of your meals at "regular" times and a light meal during your night shift.

Often women who work the night shift might have breakfast before getting off duty and before returning home to sleep. Some may even exercise before going home, which would make breakfast even more important to eat. The other option is to eat breakfast right when you get home, before going to sleep.

Aim to eat lunch later in the day during some brief waking periods; consider something light like a sandwich on whole grain bread or a homemade roll-up or a piece of fresh fruit with a yogurt. If you tend to sleep for most of the day, then you might plan an early evening dinner and bring leftovers for a "lunch" or a "brown bag" lunch for work with a fruit, some pretzels or a yogurt for snacking.

With the holidays approaching and the onslaught of treats (and goodness knows, people love to shower nurses with treats during these times), healthy eating can be a challenge for all of us. So having snacks handy can minimize overindulgence with treats. Lastly, try to limit the amount of caffeine-containing beverages that you drink during your shift, such as regular coffee, tea and cola, as well as greasy, fatty foods, as they can disrupt your sleep patterns.

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